(Business in Cameroon) - Unlike other countries within the Cemac area, Cameroon’s current balance deficit worsened during the past year. According to recent data from the Bank of Central African Countries (Beac), the country’s deficit grew to 3.4% over the period, against 2.5% in 2017.
Such a situation is driven by a negative trade balance performance of XAF271.7 billion in 2018 compared to XAF117 billion, according to Beac projections. A negative trend is also observed in Equatorial Guinea with deficit reaching 8.5% of GDP in 2018 against 7.1% in 2017.
Deficit narrowed in Gabon (2.7% in 2018 compared to 5.0% a year earlier); Chad (4.2% after 7.1% in 2017) and the Central African Republic (8.0% after 8.5% in 2017). The rate returned to surplus in Congo (+2.6% against -2.5% in 2017).
Overall, CEMAC's external accounts show a decrease in the current account deficit, including official grants, from 4.2% of GDP (XAF2,057.9 billion) in 2017 to 3.1% in 2018 (XAF1,622.5 billion).
“This improvement (for the region) would result from a 49.1% increase in the trade balance surplus to XAF6,436.9 billion in 2018, thanks to a larger increase in exports (+20.4%) than in imports (+6.3%),” explains the Beac.